Project Type: Transmission reinforcement
Location: Highland

Contact Details

Liaison Manager

Kelly Scott
Title: Community Liaison Manager
Mobile: 07443 772 946
Address: Networks
1 Waterloo Street
G2 6AY

Land Manager

Ali MacLeod
Title: Land Manager
Mobile: 07500 912996
Address: 10 Henderson Road, Inverness, IV1 1SN
Status: Project Refinement

About the project

To enable a proposed subsea transmission cable from Shetland to connect to the UK National Grid, we are proposing to construct an HVDC switching station north of Wick in Caithness. 

We have developed and successfully gained an outline planning permission to construct an HVDC Switching Station which will connect to the HVDC system that is currently being installed between Caithness and Moray. This arrangement makes use of capacity available in the Caithness-Moray subsea cable to allow onward connection to the existing onshore transmission network in Moray with minimum new infrastructure.

The switching station will allow the flow of electricity to be managed between three underground HVDC circuits - one from a converter station at Spittal in Caithness, one from a converter station at Kergord in Shetland and one to a converter station at Blackhillock in Moray.

Why is the project required?

We are required to develop proposals to accommodate new sources of electricity generation seeking to connect to our network. In response to generators seeking to connect in Shetland, we are proposing to install a new High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission cable which would connect the islands to the Great Britain electricity system for the first time. HVDC technology makes it possible to transmit electricity efficiently across the distances involved in connecting Shetland, which is located about 170 kilometres north of mainland Scotland.

To find out more about the Shetland HVDC link, please visit the dedicated project webpage:


The data in this map is provided for indicative purposes only and may be subject to change. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc do not accept responsibility for its accuracy, completeness or validity. The data should not be copied, reproduced or utilised externally without permission.

SSEN welcome decision by the Highland Council to approve planning for Caithness HVDC switching station

Commenting on the outcome of today’s Highland Council planning committee decision for the Caithness HVDC switching station, Craig Taylor, Project Manager for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, said: “We welcome today’s decision by the Highland Council to approve our planning application for the Caithness HVDC switching station. As a responsible developer we have gone through a rigorous development process, taking into account a range of technical, environmental and economic considerations to help inform the identification of a suitable location and design, which has been carefully designed to minimise the visual impact of the development in the surrounding area.”

Planning Application to The Highland Council

An application has been made to The Highland Council Planning Department, in principle, for the Caithness HVDC Switching Station. The application can be viewed and commented upon via The Highland Council planning portal, reference number 16/04505/PIP.

Sign up for project updates

To keep informed of all that is happening on this project, please complete your details below and provide consent to enable us to send you updates via email

For information on how we collect and process your data, please see our privacy notice at If you do not have access to our website, or would like to receive a hard copy, please contact us.